Asda has confirmed the appointment of Andy Clarke as its new chief executive.

Clarke steps up from chief operating officer to succeed Andy Bond in the top role.

He first joined Asda as a store manager in 1992. He left the company for senior roles at Matalan and Iceland before returning to Asda in 2007.

The appointment means Bond will move into his new role as chair of Asda’s executive committee with immediate effect.

“[Clarke] was clearly the right choice from the internal and external candidates we considered,” said Bond.

“I’m looking forward to doing everything I can to ensure a smooth transition for Andy in his new role.”

Walmart International president Doug McMillon added: “At Walmart and at Asda, we have a robust succession planning and talent development process and Andy Clarke has long been identified as a leader.

“With his long career at Asda, working first as a store manager, followed by key roles in trading, as retail director and most recently as COO, Andy knows the company, our colleagues and he cares about our customers.  He is the ideal person for the job and this will be a seamless leadership change.”

Clarke had long been considered a contender to replace Bond but emerged as the clear favourite last week after the surprise resignation of highly regarded merchandising chief Darren Blackhurst.

Other internal candidates included finance head Judith McKenna and Walmart Canada president Dave Cheesewright, but they were thought to have ruled themselves out of the running early in the process.

Read more
Blackhurst’s departure leaves Clarke favourite for Asda top role (7 May 2010)
Editor’s Comment: The big money says McKenna or Clarke. The smart money says Cheesewright (17 April 2010)
It’s the end of an era at Asda - but the beginning of what? (17 April 2010)
Bond to step aside as Asda chief exec (12 April 2010)